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Thread: Is There a "Floating Disadvantage?"

  1. #1


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    Is There a "Floating Disadvantage?"

    Hello all,

    I've been reading with interest Chapter 6 (The "Floating Advantage") in Don's "Blackjack Attack" - 3rd edition. I also consulted Norm's power-packed graphical representation of the Floating Advantage in his "Blackjack in Color."

    If I understand correctly, a positive count is worth more EV in later rounds than in earlier rounds, and this concept becomes less and less pronounced as one plays with an increasing number of decks. The increase in advantage is known as the Floating Advantage.

    My question: Apologies if I overlooked the answer to the following, but is there also a Floating DISadvantage? In other words, is the same negative count more deleterious to a player in later rounds vs. in earlier rounds?

    I realize that this may not be relevant to card counters as she/he will not vary her/his bet within the range of negative true counts.

    But what about for the non-counting basic strategist? Can this, or has this, been simmed?

    When in true counts, isn't the basic strategist experiencing slightly more wins (without knowing it) in later rounds due to the Floating Advantage?

    I wonder about a Floating Disadvantage because, and this is where most of you will balk , my notebooks are full of entries of manually dealt shoes wherein the player often fares worse toward the end of a shoe.

    I am wondering if the Floating Advantage is actually more pronounced in manually-shuffled shoes (vs. machine-shuffled shoes), and if a possible Floating DISadvantage is not only also more pronounced in manually-shuffled shoes (vs. machine-shuffled shoes) but also more pronounced than is the Floating Advantage in manually dealt shoes (which would explain my admittedly small sample of results mentioned above).

    Finally, has anyone generated any hypotheses regarding the mechanism of action behind the Floating Advantage? I have an idea or two.
    Last edited by Overkill; 08-11-2022 at 07:37 PM.

  2. #2


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    Short answer: BJA3, page 70, next-to-last paragraph. But, when you write, "If I understand correctly, a positive count is worth more EV in later rounds than in earlier rounds," you should write, "The SAME TC is worth more EV in later rounds than in earlier rounds."

    Yes, negative counts are even worse than expected (as are positive counts) for the basic strategist.

    Don

  3. #3


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    In the super minus count u must apply your index to save what u can save.

    But for normal players that they don't count and they play solid bs when the count is - 20 for example with more 4decks to play they play with 5.5 % house edge and not 0.5 as they thinking

    Of course stupid pit boss that they are afraid of hot shoes and give half shoe penitration order for every one they think that they just play less hands.

  4. #4


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    Thanks for the clarification, Don.

    I don't understand your last paragraph.

    Does a Floating DISADVANTAGE exist (which would be evidenced by a sim showing a counter at a particular negative true count faring worse over the long run in an later round than at the same negative count in an earlier round?

    And what about machine- vs. hand-shuffled? Voodoo nonsense?

    Any thoughts as to why the Floating Advantage (and Floating DISadvantage?) take place?

  5. #5


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    I have shown recently that poor shuffles have a pronounced effect for a basic strategy player. The less random the shuffle the worse it is for a basic strategy player. We can't really make a blanket statement on whether a hand-shuffled vs machine shuffle game as it's very possible that the hand shuffle be more random than the machine shuffle.

    As far as why the floating advantage exists, it's related to the decrease of number of card permutations as you go deeper in the shoe.
    Chance favors the prepared mind

  6. #6


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    Quote Originally Posted by Overkill View Post
    Does a Floating DISADVANTAGE exist (which would be evidenced by a sim showing a counter at a particular negative true count faring worse over the long run in an later round than at the same negative count in an earlier round?
    It's a hard question to answer, and I'll explain why. I was careful to point out that extreme negative counts are worse than expected for the basic strategy player. But, if you look at the many charts in the FA chapter, you'll see that the lumped-together negative counts (<=-1) also seem to display a worsening edge, the deeper the penetration. But, that may be due in large part to the fact that only the I18 indices were used, and there aren't very many negatives in the group. So, the counter is, by and large, really playing basic strategy, with few exceptions. And, with the huge negatives, he, too, is getting hammered making BS doubles and splits that become disproportionately disadvantageous (that's a mouthful!). Do you understand?

    So, it may be difficult to determine, once we would use every negative index under the sun, if the negative counts would actually produce higher or lower player edge deeper into the deck. Might be an interesting research project. But, again, of mainly theoretical import only, as we shouldn't be playing those counts anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Overkill View Post
    Any thoughts as to why the Floating Advantage (and Floating DISadvantage?) take place?
    I gave you the exact reference in BJA3 for Griffin's explanation.

    Don

  7. #7


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    Thanks, Don, for the explanation. No, I don't understand a lot of what you wrote, but I think it's due to me not understanding Indices and perhaps counting in general as well as that sometimes I just don't understand even simple things due to maybe focusing on the wrong thing or overthinking ("Overkill") or whatnot.

    Thanks again for the answers. I believe what you wrote isn't wasted on me because many others will benefit from it.

  8. #8


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    iCountNTrack,

    Thanks for the reply about the permutations. That sounds right.

    "As far as why the floating advantage exists, it's related to the decrease of number of card permutations as you go deeper in the shoe."[/QUOTE]

    HOWEVER , regarding the following,

    [QUOTE=iCountNTrack;306058]"I have shown recently that poor shuffles have a pronounced effect for a basic strategy player. The less random the shuffle the worse it is for a basic strategy player. We can't really make a blanket statement on whether a hand-shuffled vs machine shuffle game as it's very possible that the hand shuffle be more random than the machine shuffle."

    I disagree. Poorly shuffled equates to, in your words, "less random" or less shuffled. Bryce Carlson showed a player advantage, not disadvantage, for very poorly shuffled cards contingent on the number of players. I believe you should have qualified your "blanket statement." In other words, perhaps your statement is true when less than 5 or so players play against the dealer.

    Finally, I very much disagree with:
    "We can't really make a blanket statement on whether a hand-shuffled vs machine shuffle game as it's very possible that the hand shuffle be more random than the machine shuffle."

    I believe we can and we need to indeed make such a statement. Far too many counters are losing their shirts in hand-shuffled games. In my opinion, we cannot give people the impression that it's "very possible" that a hand shuffle be more random than a machine shuffle. I am sure it has happened, but by and large I firmly believe machine shuffles do a much, much, much better job of shuffling or randomizing the cards than do humans.
    Last edited by Overkill; 08-15-2022 at 06:30 PM.

  9. #9


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    Quote Originally Posted by iCountNTrack View Post
    I have shown recently that poor shuffles have a pronounced effect for a basic strategy player. The less random the shuffle the worse it is for a basic strategy player. We can't really make a blanket statement on whether a hand-shuffled vs machine shuffle game as it's very possible that the hand shuffle be more random than the machine shuffle.

    As far as why the floating advantage exists, it's related to the decrease of number of card permutations as you go deeper in the shoe.
    Do poor shuffles effect card counters too? And does this apply to double deck also?

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